One of the things I love about starting something new is the learning that comes from tapping into different perspectives. Calls today with a mentor and a friend helped me to re-frame my work with A Bigger Voice.
I purposely talk about ordinary people giving full expression to their remarkable wisdom. This is where A Bigger Voice starts. And yet, the remarkable wisdom and the willingness to give it full expression makes one not so ordinary. It makes one extraordinary. It makes one an innovator. My definition of remarkable wisdom:
Has both emotional truth and intellectual innovation.
Comes from the experience of living life.
Allows one to see/feel/know something old in a new way.
Not formed until it is given full expression.
Important for others to hear, because it improves a human condition or situation.
Ignites others and leads them to a new place.
Serves a higher good, rooted in all-encompassing love.
In the above description is something else--a gem that I had not fully seen until my friend, Dave, pointed this out:
One's story gives context to the innovation.
It's what gives rise to the remarkable wisdom (e.g., comes from the experience of living life.) For example, my remarkable wisdom might come from surviving a horrible middle school experience. How many other people have had horrible middle school experiences? Lots. How I responded to that experience explains how I'm an innovator. Maybe I figured out that middle school was the perfect training ground for being a Bell Labs engineer, that navigating geeky boys and growing breasts would prepare me for being a woman in a male-oriented environment of software developers. Just maybe.
My point is that the innovation found in the remarkable wisdom and one's story are inextricably tied. It's part of fully expressing the remarkable wisdom.
Story is also at the core of great branding. Marketers already know this. I'm basically apolitical, and this story, told in a video set to music, hooks me in to this year's political race. It's a great example of telling a story to create a brand. The emotional underpinnings are palpable. Reading through the comments, this one stood out:
"jeez....this campaign is really effecting me.
Its the 3rd time I've watched this video in an hour and I've shed a tear each time."
So tieing this back to ways to create A Bigger Voice:
What's the new thought, the innovation, to a common situation, that is part of your remarkable wisdom?
What is your story--the narrative that explains your remarkable wisdom and helps others connect to it quickly and easily?
If you are striving for a bigger voice, look first to yourself as an innovator and second to yourself as a story-teller.